It’s been a week since I’ve been home from our European road trip. Before we left for France I had hoped that my time away would teach me something. I left with an open mind and sincerely feel that I’ve learned a thing or two that has benefited me as a person. I no longer feel so cold and guarded, I now feel a little uplifted and enlightened.
It started off a little off balance. I felt lost and homesick the first night, I missed my mother and my dogs. I had a few meltdowns due to sensory overload during our drive to Perpignan. It was a very long drive of 12 hours but we split the journey and when we arrived it the journey no longer mattered. The drive itself was beautiful, we drove around mountains, along vineyards, past beaches and had a stunning view of the Pyrenees mountains ahead of us once we reached Perpignan.
We intended on spending our first day sightseeing in the city and finishing with a dinner. Unfortunately we took a wrong turn and found ourselves in the ‘rough’ part of the city. I felt on edge as we stood out and I didn’t know the area, but the thing that hurt the most was seeing the stray injured dogs. I couldn’t understand how people could just ignore these starving dogs, so after being tugged away by Will, I spent the next few days feeling angry and hopeless.
On our second day we drove to Ceret to visit an art gallery. We then drove to Figueres in Spain as we had tickets to visit the Salvador Dali museum. It was an amazing experience, there was so much of his work on display and everywhere you looked there was something to look at. I’ll post photos over the next few days onto another blog post.
The third day was spent swimming/relaxing at the beaches with a book. We spent the evening in Collioure having a few drinks and watching the sun set over the sea. I loved our night here, it had a relaxed vibe with everyone pretty much taking in all of its beauty.
Over the fourth and fifth days we visited Avignon and Carcassonne. We visited the Palais des Papes and the Pont Sainte-Benezet whilst in Avignon and the fortified city in Carcassonne. Each place was amazing but the Cité de Carcassonne was my favourite because of the cobbled paths, sweet little shops, hotels and bars crammed perfectly into this medieval fortress.
After spending a day in Avignon we made our way to our next stop in Aix En Provence. We didn’t spend much time in the city but visited the Musee Granet and walked along the cours mirabeau. I had one meltdown whilst staying here which I believe was due to lack of sleep. I didn’t let it ruin the holiday though.
We spent our first day at the Sainte Croix du Verdon. Definitely a place I’ll never forget. The waters were so clear that you could see fishes whilst swimming. There were plenty of places to rest and read without the bustling crowds. It felt so good to be able to clear the mind and just take in the scenery. I’ve never seen nature look so beautiful. After spending the day here we drove to a commune Moustiers Sainte Marie a short drive away. It’s considered to be one of the most stunning villages of France and it certainly was. There were plenty of gift stores, bars and hikes to take around the village.
On our third day we headed to Marseille to buy some souvenirs. We discovered a stalled market by the port which had so much on offer, we bought back some plants, ornaments and soaps. The afternoon was spent searching for quiet beaches or coves but all of them seemed pretty busy as the weather was very hot so we headed back and had a meal instead.
On our forth day we drove to Annecy as it was on the way to Geneva. We visited the castle and strolled through the old town which was full of character. The evening was spent at the lake reading and with Will taking a dip. We then set off for Geneva…
We spent the evening in Geneva trying to find accommodation as our host from airbnb wasn’t arriving until late for check in and we were too tired to wait. So unfortunately we only had the next day to spend there. We visited the Red Cross museum which was very interesting and the time was well spent, finishing off with a lake cruise. Later that night we started driving towards Bruges, stopping an hour into the journey for a sleep in the car which I found very uncomfortable so decided to start driving instead.
Arriving in Bruges at 12pm we headed straight to the hotel room for a desperately needed sleep. After feeling more energised we decided to visit the pubs and sight see on the last day. Two of the pubs that stood out were The Beer Wall and Cafe Roses Red. Our final day was spent in the torture museum which was rather insightful as we had already researched many of the methods in the past but the methods shown in the museum were brutal! We then went on a canal boat ride and spent the remaining hours shopping before heading back to Calais.
This post is extremely long (read more tag not working unfortunately) so I will leave it here for tonight as I’m already running on empty. Apologies in advance for poor writing tonight, I just wanted to get this out before waiting any longer and it’s already late, my brain is beyond fried!!! So tomorrow I will conclude with the emotional stuff and hopefully haven’t bored you all so far 😉
Love & Light…